There are some scenic drives in the South Rim. We believe we can get those all done in one day.
Some can be made by car only, others by shuttle only, and others by either one.
On http://www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/placestogo.htm you can find a list of all the drives/routes and download a map of the routes available for the current season.
- Hermit Road Route is done by car during the Winter season and by shuttle from March 1 to November 30. The Round trip takes almost 1.5 hour (80 minutes)
-The Village Route is not a scenic route but it gives access to the Hermit Road Route - it is 50 min round- trip, so I assume a 25-min ride there.
- Kaibab/Rim Route is done by shuttle year round. The round trip takes about 50 minutes. The only reason why this is worth the ride is a view point called Yaki point, which is the only point only accessible by shuttle. They suggest this place as a nice spot for a sunset or sunrise view. Since we
won't be staying in the park, the Sunset will be our option. We will
schedule our day to be there by sunset. I need to check the SUNSET time for the day we will be there. All the rest of the view points in this route can be done by car on the desert view drive http://www.nps.gov/grca/parknews/upload/2013SR_winter_guidemap.pdf.
All these routes are described here (along with hours that the shuttle runs)
- Desert View Drive - car only and the website says the Watchtower can be climbed and offers a great 360 view. http://www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/desert-view-drive.htm
This is enough for a day. I will be looking at the museums and visitor centers to see what is there to see, and where to eat on the next step of my search.